Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Altered Reality

I have a confession to make: I don't always understand what goes on in the world. I don't usually lose a lot of sleep over this fact, mind you. I don't agonize over what I would like to make sense of. But sometimes the Brick Wall Of Perplexity is, as if by some dark magic, dropped right in front of me, and I usually slam into it quite hard. I frequently end up [at least psychically] bruised, and shaking my head.
Case in point: I understand why those who are deformed from birth, or suffer grievous injuries in an accident, would seek out the services of a plastic surgeon. I even "get it" when it's a case of an over sized nose, or perhaps an unfortunately-placed birthmark. But what do we make of the subject of the following item [from MSNBC]?
(Please, take a minute to read this. I'll wait...)
Glad you're back. There are more than a few things in that piece that disturb. First of all, can all that surgery even be good for someone? After all, the human body, like many pieces of machinery, operates best as a sealed system. Constantly opening the package CAN'T be good! Further, what is the cumulative effect of multiple surgery on someones body? (Anyone who's tried to patch an automobile or bicycle tire knows where I'm going here) Will there be a surgery that won't take hold, because the skin around the area to be operated on has lost elasticity, or the bones won't adapt to the new procedure? What will the mental effect be when this woman is confronted with the fact that surgery can't fix everything? When your whole life is built around appearing youthful, what happens when things that can't be repaired or improved age?
A final concern: the article mentions that many poor people in Brazil get plastic surgery, putting themselves in debt for appearance's sake [one hopes that they are not disappointed in the final result]. I'm not saying that people shouldn't aspire to looking good. But at what cost?
- Mike Riley
PS: Hello to all my EntreCard visitors!